God is love (1 John 4.16).
The Sabbath in the Bible was a day of many things. It was a day of rest. It was a day of family. It was a day celebrating God’s creation. It was a day celebrating redemption from slavery. It was a day of togetherness. It was a day that showed Israel what the world to come would look like. It was a day of basking in divine love with all of God’s creation. Remember love, God’s Love, Yahweh’s love.
Maybe we moderns do not “remember” that earth-shattering love nearly enough.
God loves you. God loves me. And God loves the entire creation, the whole universe and everything in it, unconditionally.
God’s love is not predicated upon our love for God.
God’s love is not granted if we worship God.
God’s love is not parceled on the basis of our righteousness.
God’s love is not proportionate to our obedience to God.
God’s love is not reciprocal (that is he will love us if we love God).
God’s love is infinite.
God’s love is eternal.
God’s love is unconditional.
These truths are so astonishing, so radical, so unbelievable, that Christians themselves routinely immediately try to qualify God’s love with a “but” some where along the line (usually along the entire line).
The only “but” is, there is no but. God’s love is unconditional. It is actively shown to every creature in creation.
“Go show your love to your wife again,
though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress.
Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites”
“God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us …
while we were enemies, we were reconciled to
God through the death of his Son”
“the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness”
“You are a God ready to forgive,
gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love
and you did not forsake them,
even when they had cast an image of a calf for themselves”
“you are precious in my sight,
and I love you”
“For God so love the world [the whole world] that
he gave his one and only son”
“For great is his steadfast love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever!”
We should spend less time trying to qualify God’s infinite and unconditional love and more time in meditation on it, more time praising God for it, more time being astonished by it. We just might find ourselves deeply transformed and moved to simply worship the God of Infinite Love. A revolution might happen in our churches if we did.
John tells us about the “but” when it comes to God’s amazing love.
“This is love, not that we loved God,
BUT that he loved us and sent his Son
to be an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 3.10)
Go Read Psalm 136 slowly.
Read the refrain audibly.